USA: A coalition of local elected officials has agreed to support the Central Corridor light rail project connecting the centres of Minneapolis and St Paul, although the $909m plan will still require federal funding.

The 17·7 km line would serve 20 stations from a MultiModal Terminal in Minneapolis, running via the median of University Avenue along Cedar Street and Fourth Avenue to Sibley Street in front of Union Depot station in St Paul.

Stops would be built to accommodate three-car trains. As a cost-saving measure, the proposal to bore a tunnel beneath the University of Minnesota's East Bank campus has been eliminated in favour of converting part of Washington Avenue into a pedestrian zone.

Three stations sought by St Paul and Ramsey County have been deferred indefinitely. However, provision has been made to operate onto the Union Depot concourse once the station is established as a hub for commuter and Amtrak trains. Construction could begin in 2010 for opening in 2014.